Going on holiday is exciting, but it can also be stressful when you have a lot to remember. Passports, money, travel insurance, the list is endless, and if you’re travelling to somewhere new then it can be especially daunting not knowing what you need to take.
I’m heading off on holiday later in the year and have been doing a lot of research into what I need to do before I leave. I have found a lot of useful information so have shared my list of 10 things to do before you go on holiday below. Hopefully, you will find it useful and it will help you feel prepared and organised for your holiday. I will be coming back to the list to make sure I have everything covered before my holiday.
Book your airport parking and transfer
If you’re lucky enough to be getting dropped off at the airport then you won’t have to worry about parking, but if that isn’t the case then it’s best to arrange this early so you have one less thing to worry about. Most airports now let you pre-book parking services online which will save you time at the airport, you can even choose the valet service for a cost. If you’re flying off on your holiday then booking transport before you arrive is a must. I visit family in Scotland every year and always book the airport taxi with plenty of time to spare. There would be nothing worse than landing at your destination and having no way of getting to your hotel. It’s always worth confirming a few days before you’re due to use the service so if there are any issues you have time to arrange something else.
Convert your currency
If you’re heading abroad then chances are you will need to change your money into the correct currency for the area you’re visiting. It’s surprising how easy it is to forget to do this when you have 101 other things to remember. It can be difficult to know when to exchange your currency because the rate fluctuates, but don’t leave it until the last minute or you might find yourself forced to exchange at a low rate.
Arrange travel insurance and order your EHIC card for EU travel
If you’re travelling within the EU then make sure you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for everyone in your party. You can apply for an EHIC card online which gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare when you are travelling in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland. It covers treatment that is medically necessary and should be provided on the basis as it would a resident of that country, either at a reduced cost or free. The EHIC card does not replace travel insurance, it won’t cover private medical treatment, so it’s important to arrange that for your trip also.
Confirm your phone data, call and text allowance
You’ve probably heard the horror stories of people returning from their holiday abroad to a huge phone bill. This is usually due to their data allowance and the cost being different when abroad, therefore it’s always worth a quick phone call to your service provider to find out exactly what your allowance is for the country you are travelling to.
Secure your home
When you’re heading off on holiday your home might be the furthest thing from your mind, but you’re going to be away and knowing your home and belongings are secure will let you have a relaxing holiday. Before leaving the house for the last time do a check to make sure all of the windows and doors are locked, set your alarm if you have one and if you have someone you trust ask them to open and close the curtains each day so it looks like someone is home.
Check your passport and important travel documents
If you’re travelling abroad then you will need a valid passport to travel. Don’t assume you know the expiry date on your passport, double check before you book your holiday, especially if the holiday isn’t far off. It would be a disaster to book the holiday and then realise your passport is out of date. Depending on where you are travelling you might also need a visa and other travel documents such as driver’s license and insurance if you’re driving, so do check exactly what you need to bring with you before you travel.
Do your research
This might be an obvious one, but do your research before you book your destination and before you travel. Different countries have different rules, cultures and policies and it’s important you know about these things before you travel so you respect that country’s rules and have a great holiday too. It can be difficult knowing where to start and where to find the correct information but I have found the Foreign Travel Advice from GOV.UK to be a great resource for finding out about different countries. Simply visit the website and select which country you are going to visit and you will be able to find out about most aspects of that country, including money, entry requirements, health, laws & customs, and safety & security, amongst other important things.
If you’re off on holiday and need to take medication with you then you will have to check beforehand to see if the medication is prohibited in the country you are planning to visit. Some countries have a very strict policy so it’s necessary to check before you travel or you might find yourself stopped at security. Some countries will ask that you take a letter from your GP explaining your condition, it’s also worth taking any repeat prescriptions you have in case for any reason you have to stay longer and also keep the medication in their original packaging.
Let your bank know you’re heading abroad
If you’re planning on using your bank card abroad then let your bank know of your holiday before you travel, if you don’t the bank’s fraud prevention could block your card leaving you without any money. Even if you’re taking cash it’s worth telling your bank in case you need to use your card in an emergency.